Stair Update

A couple of weeks ago I showed you the condition of our stairs, which only got worse after that post. That weekend we removed the rest of the step. Of course since we were going to fix it that same day or at latest the next day, it wouldn’t be a problem. Fast forward almost 3 weeks later we still have no step.

It’s been a pain in the butt, especially when we have to lug the laundry basket up and down the stairs. Even our poor cat has had to get used to the missing step. (Just wanted to note that this is not a very flattering picture, she is much more attractive in person. I captured her mid meow and at this angle she kinda looks like ‘roadkill’!)

This past weekend we got the conditions ready on the sides in order to be able to install the step. First, we sanded down the riser, because there was a notch in the original tread which we wouldn’t be able to replicate without a router. Which we don’t have. It took a while and a trip to Home Depot for coarser sand paper, but we got er done.

Since there was no way (other than destroying the trim on the sides) to get the step to recess into the wall, we had to make some adjustments. We cut the tread down to size and cut two triangular pieces of wood for the sides, to support the step. All using our shiny new toy.

Ok, we were actually following the 23 day frugal challenge over at Frugally Sustainable and were not supposed to buy anything we didn’t really absolutely need. But we got an awesome deal at Harbor Freight Tools. We signed up for the membership which gave us an extra rebate and discount, so we got the saw for $84!!! 84 Bucks for a 10″ sliding miter saw is unheard of, these saws somewhere else go for $500. I figured we also saved money by doing the work ourselves, plus we saved having to run to Home Depot every time we needed a cut. Plus!!! I plan to make my own picture frames with this puppy, which will also save me money.

Enough rationalizing, back to the stairs.

So we screwed and glued everything to the sides.

I also fixed the step below, which was creaking and sinking when you stepped on it. I was able to stick my hand underneath and found that nothing was supporting it on one side. Just stuck a piece of wood underneath and nailed it. Voila, no more creaking or sinking.

We also finished removing the rest of the small wood pieces that held the carpet. They seamed like they were bolted on, but we figured out a trick to get them out easily with minimal damage to the steps.

Start at one end and take a screwdriver and insert it between the wood and the riser or step. You may need to hit it gently with a hammer to get it in. Take a second hammer and insert it the same way nearby.  Pry the wood away from the wall with the 1st screwdriver. Then remove and insert the first screwdriver again on the other side of the 2nd screwdriver. keep repeating this till the whole piece comes out.

We were ready to install the step except we had to wait for the glue to dry. By then we were hungry and tired and called it a day.

I was all gung-ho about sanding and painting the stairs once finished, but realized the stairs are probably the last thing we’re going to do. You see, we still have to tear out the carpets upstairs, redo the bathrooms and perhaps the ceiling (check out our master and guest to do lists for more specifics). And all that mess and lugging construction materials up and down the stairs will ruin the finish. So for now we wait.

Also, although I still love the original inspiration, I’m also constantly changing my mind about what I want to do.

painted stair runnerSource

Since we’re most likely going to install wood tiles throughout the house, I’m leaning towards just staining the treads and painting the risers. A mix of all of these.

rustic wood stairsSource

painted stairsSource

stenciled stairsSource

 I know, I’ve got decor ADD. That darn Pinterest!


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